SEPTEMBER 23-25, 2017
Percussion Research Symposium
Journeys, Stories and Adaptations of our Sounding Objects.
YOUR HOST: ASSOC. PROF. VANESSA TOMLINSON
ORGANISING TEAM: AIYUN HUANG, ROSS KARRE, FABIO OLIVEIRA, STEVEN SCHICK
TRANSPLANTED ROOTS: PERCUSSION RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
is designed to convene researchers and professionals working in the ever-changing field of contemporary percussion. Edgar Varèse’s seminal work Ionisation (1931) marked the birth of modern percussion and performance practice. Since then, percussionists have taken the lead in musical experimentation with new sounds, new practices, and new genres. Collaborations between percussionists and composers have led to many important works and genres (Reich’s Minimalism) of the 20th century. The relatively short history of contemporary percussion music has forced percussionists to include research in their daily routines, in order to invent and master new instruments, and devices, and to accelerate their technical development to meet demands in the music. This symposium — open to all researchers and practitioners involved in this evolving discipline — will serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas, scholarship, and research.
Transplanted Roots is a regular international symposium dedicated to contemporary percussion. Transplanted Roots first took place in Montreal, Canada in 2015. The event will travel around the world with plans for Brisbane, Australia in 2017, and Brazil in 2019. The overall goal is to integrate and present written, oral, and performance research in percussion and construct a global picture of this quickly evolving discipline, with a fresh and critical view that escapes the dominance of the European-North American tradition. The format consists of paper presentations, lecture-recitals, and concert performances.
In February 2007 percussionists Steven Schick, Gustavo Aguilar, and Aiyun Huang hosted the Roots and Rhizomes Research Symposium at the University of California, San Diego. This symposium was dedicated to contemporary percussion research. It brought academic researchers, non-academic researchers, professional artists, composers, engineers, and technology scientists together to discuss, reflect, and put forward ideas for the emerging and evolving discipline of contemporary music. More than 50 percussionists attended the event. Concert attendance was approximately 400. Transplanted Roots aims to continue from where Roots and Rhizomes left off.
The theme chosen for this symposium is Borderless instruments: Journeys, stories, and adaptations of our sounding materials. Journeys looks at the adventure of the instrument through different music, and different cultures; multi-cultural, intercultural, cross-cultural percussive objects, music and performance. Stories looks at the line between fact and fiction; mythical, magical and factual accounts of the things we call percussion instruments – the name we attribute to objects, the cultural significance of the object, and the function of the object. Adaptations examines the changing form of the instrument, from culturally specific to globally available, new roles for old instruments.
We welcome submissions to participate in Transplanted Roots from percussionists, composers and musicologists from all over the world. In addition we welcome observers from around the globe to engage with cutting-edge research in the field of percussion. The organizing team – Vanessa Tomlinson, Ross Karre, Steven Schick, Aiyun Huang and Fabio Oliveira – are delighted to welcome you to Brisbane, Australia for this unique gathering of international thinkers around the subject of percussion. Australia has a rich percussive tradition and Transplanted Roots will be an important contribution to the next chapter of percussion in Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and across the globe.
The theme, Borderless instruments: Journeys, stories, and adaptations of our sounding materials reflects Australia’s place in the Asia-Pacific community, and celebrates the emerging field of intercultural music making in Australia. It also acknowledges the multi-cultural roots of percussion, which have been absorbed into contemporary culture around the world – the djembe for instance is now one of the most popular percussion instruments in the Western Chinese city of Chengdu. This fact was discovered while TR host Vanessa Tomlinson was researching Sichuan Opera Gongs in Chengdu at the same time – and so the world turns.
Transplanted Roots 2017 will be hosted at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Established in 1957, QCGU is one of the most comprehensive tertiary music schools in Australia. Their specialist degrees encompass pre-tertiary, undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs across two campuses, taught by world-renowned performer-teachers. The South Bank campus, which will host Transplanted Roots, is situated in Queensland’s vibrant cultural precinct, where strong industry partnerships help inform and shape cultural vitality, locally and internationally.
QCGU is home to a suite of innovative research projects through the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, providing a solid basis to address the key issues for the 21st Century Conservatoire with a strong emphasis on social dividends.
PERCUSSION AT QCGU
Percussion students at QCGU work with Head of Percussion Vanessa Tomlinson, alongside industry leaders Tom O’Kelly, Francois Combemorel, Nozomi Omote and Tim Corkeron.
Ba Da Boom percussion are the resident percussion ensemble at Queensland Conservatorium. Formed in 2003 by Vanessa Tomlinson, it has become an important laboratory for percussion in Australia, and a hub for percussion-based projects across the Asia-Pacific. Ba Da Boom focuses equally on improvisation, commissioning new works and performing pre-existing repertoire, working with Australian composers such as Liza Lim, Erik Griswold, Jennifer Fowler, Gerardo Dirie, Michael Askill, Anthony Pateras, Kate Neal and Gerard Brophy. In 2010 they hosted the inaugural Australian Percussion Gathering, and followed this with the second APG in 2016.
Recent guest artists have include percussionists Fritz Hauser, Jan Williams, Kroumata, Claire Edwardes, Will Guthrie, Aiyun Huang, Phil Treloar, David Jones, composers Martin Bresnick, Nicole Lizee and Anthony Pateras, pianist Lisa Moore and clarinetist Richard Haynes.
Brisbane is fortunate to have QCGU Ensemble-in-residence Clocked Out based in town for the past 13 years. Dedicated to exploring new sonic territories at the intersection of prepared piano and percussion, the core duo have transformed the percussion community in Brisbane, while maintaining national and international impact.
In addition Early Warning System is a percussion group directed by Michael Askill and Vanessa Tomlinson, that looks at the sonic landscape of Australia. They champion work by composers such as Kate Neal, Anthony Pateras, Erik Griswold and Michael Askill alongside international composers Michael Gordon and John Luther Adams.
TRANSPLANTED ROOTS 2015
The chosen theme for 2015 was Alpha, Beta, and Omega: New Ideas for Percussion. Alpha examines standard repertoire, interpreters, and performance practices. Beta looks at the current state of percussion with a special focus on sustaining interpretation. Omega looks into the future, exploring the cutting edge crossroads between percussion and technology, percussion and ecology, and percussion as a multidisciplinary art.
The 2015 organization team extends its sincere thanks to all the presenters, staff, volunteers, and audience members who helped make this event a resounding success. Please browse the videos below featuring highlights from the symposium. You will find links to more videos hosted on the symposium’s YouTube channel. You can view and download the 2015 program here.
Transplanted Roots is grateful to the following organizations for supporting the 2015 symposium:
Vanessa Tomlinson (Griffith University, Queensland)
Australian percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson is active in the fields of solo percussion, contemporary chamber music, improvisation, installation, acoustic ecology and composition. She has performed at festivals around the world, is the recipient of 2 Green Room Awards, the 2011 APRA/AMC Award for Excellence, an Australian Council for the Arts Project Fellowship, and has been awarded artist residencies through Asialink (University of Melbourne), Civitella Ranieri (NY/Italy), Banff (Canada) and Bundanon (NSW). She has recorded on numerous labels including Mode Records, Tzadik, ABC Classics, Etcetera, Clocked Out and Innova.
Vanessa is co-founder and artistic director of Clocked Out, one of Australia’s most important and eclectic musical organizations, artistic director of percussion quartet Early Warning System, and the 2010/2016 Australian Percussion Gathering and the percussionist for The Australian Art Orchestra. She was a founding member of percussion group red fish blue fish, and is also founder and director of Ba Da Boom, the in-residence percussion ensemble at Queensland Conservatorium, and the training ground for a wide cross-section of the percussion community in Australia. She is particularly well-known for her interpretations of the music of Neal, Pateras, Griswold and Globokar, her improvisational language that incorporates sonic investigations of found objects, nature, and toy instruments, and her tireless advocacy for awareness of the plethora of high quality music-making happening in Australia.
In recent years Tomlinson has contributed greatly to the field of acoustic ecology through her work with Soundings – using performative sonic intervention to begin to understand environments. This work has been supported through the Australia Council, UNESCO and the Biosphere Soundscapes projects. Over the years Vanessa has commissioned, inspired and premiered more than 100 works, worked alongside countless wonderful improvisers, and collaborated with visual artists, dancers, and actors in a variety of settings.
Vanessa studied at the University of Adelaide, Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg and received her Masters and Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego where she worked closely with Steven Schick and George Lewis. In addition Vanessa has studied Sichuan Opera with Master Zhong Kaichi in Chengdu, China. She is currently Associate Professor in Music at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, and Deputy Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre.
Fabio Oliveira (UFG, Brazil)
Fabio Oliveira is a percussionist specializing in experimental repertoire and traditional Brazilian samba. Mr. Oliveira has performed throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, has worked with or collaborated with notable composers such as Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, Philippe Manoury, Helmut Lachenmann, Flo Menezes, Chaya Chernowin, Michael Gordon and Paulo Guicheney, and has recordings released on Tzadik, New World Records and Mode Records.
Over the last 5 years he has help to establish a growing community of percussionists residing and creating work in the heart of Brazil, in the town of Goiânia. Fabio is the head of percussion studies at the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), and a co-founder of CΞP³, the Center for the Excellence in Education, Research and Performance in Percussion. The center aggregates percussion generated musical investigation and performance, and coordinates activities across 4 campuses. Since its creation in 2013, CΞP³ has been awarded multiple prizes and awards (FUNARTE, SECULT, MEC), as well as federal and state research grants (CNPQ, CAPES, FAPEG, IFG), with funding of about R$ 500.000. Fabio is a co-founding member of the percussion sextet Impact(o), the resident ensemble at CΞP³. The group is devoted to the performance of the canonic repertoire for this formation, instrument building and sound experimentation, as well as the creation of new multimedia work in collaboration with artists including dancers, actors, composers and video artists.
Ongoing 2015 projects include the construction of the first set of sixxen in South America for the performance of Xenakis ‘Pleiades’, the performance of Michael Gordon’s ‘Timber’ with a selection of native Brazilian woods, as well as the premiere of a large sextet by composer Paulo Guicheney.
Ross Karre (International Contemporary Ensemble)
Ross Karre (b. 1983 in Battle Creek, MI) is a percussionist and temporal artist based in New York City. His primary focus is the combination of media selected from classical percussion, electronics, theater, moving image, visual art, and lighting design. After completing his Doctorate in Music at UCSD with Steven Schick, Ross formalized his intermedia studies with a Master of Fine Arts from UCSD. He is a percussionist and director of production for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and performs regularly with red fish blue fish, Third Coast Percussion (Chicago), the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble. His projection design work has been presented all over the world in prestigious venues such as the BBC Scotland, the Park Avenue Armory, the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the BIMhuis (Amsterdam).
Steven Schick (University of California, San Diego)
Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005).
Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, “red fish blue fish.” Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances in this season with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Ensemble and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Schick will be music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival. Among his acclaimed publications are a book, “The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams,” and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Mode will release a companion recording on DVD of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2014.
Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.
Aiyun Huang (McGill University)
The ever-evolving Aiyun Huang enjoys a musical life as soloist, chamber musician, researcher, teacher and producer. She was the First Prize and the Audience Award winner at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2002. Her past highlights include performances at the Victoria Hall in Geneva, Weill Recital Hall in New York, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s Green Umbrella Series, LACMA Concert Series, Holland Festival, Agora Festival in Paris, Banff Arts Festival, 7éme Biennale d’Art Contemporaine de Lyon, Vancouver New Music Festival, CBC Radio, La Jolla Summerfest, Scotia Festival, Cool Drummings, Montreal New Music Festival, Centro Nacional Di Las Artes in Mexico City, and National Concert Hall and Theater in Taipei. She is a founding member of Canadian trio Toca Loca with pianists Gregory Oh and Simon Docking. Since 2011, she has been performing with Musicians from soundSCAPE with soprano Tony Arnolds and pianist Thomas Rosenkranz. Her recent highlights include concerto appearances with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and L’Orchestre Suisse Romande. Aiyun has commissioned and championed over 100 works in the last two decades working with composers internationally. Upcoming collaborative projects include Tacoma Narrows Monochord with Sean Griffin and a new piece by Jaroslaw Kapuscinski with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
She is a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology in Montreal. In 2012, Mode Records released Save Percussion Theater featuring Aiyun Huang and friends documenting important theatrical works in the percussion repertoire. Aiyun’s current research focuses on the cross-pollination between science and music from the performer’s perspective. Her ongoing project “Memory in Motion” focuses on the understanding of memory in percussion ensemble playing. In May 2013 she co-hosted Random Walks: Music of Xenakis and Beyond with Canada’s leading research institutions: Perimeter Institute, the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, and Institute for Quantum Computing. Recent recordings include Inflorescences on New Focus Recording and After JSB-RS on Naxos.
Born in Kaohsiung, a southern city of Taiwan, Aiyun holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. Her teachers included Steven Schick, Russell Hartenberger, Gaston Sylvestre, Robin Engelman, Bob Becker, and Francois Bedel. Between 2004 and 2006, she was a Faculty Fellow at UCSD. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Percussion and was recently appointed William Dawson Scholar at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She regularly teaches and performs in summer festivals including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and soundSCAPE Festival in the Italian Alps.
CALL FOR PAPERS